Bankwest’s Qantas Transaction Account is one of a few points-earning bank accounts, the other being the Virgin Money Go Transaction Account and the only one where you are able to earn Qantas Points from debit card transactions and from holding a balance in the account.
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Digging into the details of the Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account
Bankwest’s Qantas Transaction Account should definitely be of interest to people who like their points. Let’s take a look in more detail:
Features of the Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account
|Card/Account||Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account|
|Card type||Debit Mastercard
Platinum Debit Mastercard
|Loyalty Program||Qantas Frequent Flyer|
|Points earned on eligible transactions||0.3 points per $100 in your account each day (up to a maximum balance of $50,000)
3 points per eligible Debit Mastercard purchase
5 points on overseas ATM cash withdrawals
|Monthly maintenance fee||$6 (waived when you deposit at least $2,000 per month)|
|Overseas ATM access fee||$0 charged by Bankwest (overseas bank may charge a fee)|
|Foreign transaction fee||2.95% of the transaction amount|
There are unlimited transactions and no monthly account fee if you deposit at least $2000 per month into your account, saving you $6 per month.
Unfortunately, Bankwest has recently implemented a points cap on the Qantas earn rate for account balances. Previously, you would accumulate 0.3 Qantas Points per $100 account balance, with no limit on the number of points that could be earned.
However, now you’ll only earn points on the first $50,000 in your account. This means that you can earn up to 150 Qantas Points per day based on the maximum limit, or 54,750 Qantas Points per year.
How to use the Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account to earn Qantas Points on purchases
‘Eligible’ purchases are the keyword, and the product disclosure statement has a big list of exclusions. Generally, points are earned on purchases made through the Debit Mastercard system without cash-out.
Previously, the earn rate on this card was 5 points per eligible transaction. This gave an opportunity to use this card on very small purchases, offering a better rate than credit cards for purchases under $5.
However, with the devaluation of the points earn rate to 3 points per eligible purchase, this opportunity has largely gone, with perhaps the exception of the following purchases:
- Short-term car parking
- Small eBay or other online purchases
- Quick runs to the local store for a bottle of milk or a missing ingredient
- Small purchases where the retailer has a minimum or a surcharge for credit card payments, but allows EFTPOS. (For example, a couple of small fruit & veg stores in my area.)
Earning Qantas Points on your account balance with the Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account
The 0.3 points per day per $100 in the account is earned in lieu of a competitive interest rate on the account (you earn interest at 0.01% p.a.). Points are now only earned on the first $50,000 in the account.
Still, many other transaction accounts don’t earn interest at all – usually, you have to keep your money in a separate linked savings account and transfer funds over as needed.
Depending on how you value Qantas Points, and the rate at which you are taxed on the interest earned, this may work out to be a better deal. Qantas Points aren’t taxable, of course.
Let’s take an example of someone holding a $10,000 balance in their Qantas Transaction Account for a month, against someone earning interest in a hypothetical alternative account with a 2% annual interest rate.
In this case, they would earn 9 points per $100 of balance = 900 Qantas Points. We value this at $16.20. Alternatively, in our hypothetical savings, they could have earned 1/12 of the 2% annual interest rate, or $16.67 in interest. It all depends on how much you value your points as to whether that makes sense for you.
It’s also worth noting that you’d have to pay your equivalent income tax rate for the current financial year on the interest earned in our example interest-earning account, which would reduce the net amount earned further.
Another point to make – remember that if you have a mortgage with an offset account, you could be better off parking money in there instead of earning interest in a cash account. But the key takeaway: this one is definitely worth doing your own maths on, as we can only provide general commentary.
Summing up: Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account
The Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account is not an account you would use for all your day-to-day spending on a card if you’re interested in maximising the points you can earn. However, it could be a useful way to earn points for low-value purchases or a small points earner from a product that normally doesn’t accrue any points.
You’ll need to remember to transfer in at least $2,000 per month to avoid the $6 monthly account fee but, given that, the rewards, in terms of points, not interest, are well worth considering.
Unfortunately, Bankwest is tightening the screws on the number of Qantas Points that can be earned from the Bankwest Transaction Account. Initially, the points earn decreased from 5 points per transaction to 3, and from 0.5 points per $100 account balance to 0.3 points. And most recently, an account balance cap of $50,000 was introduced for points earn.
All in all, this transaction product is one of only 2 available in the market that allows points to be earned. It’ll continue to appeal to those looking to earn points from their everyday transactions.
Bankwest would also like us to include the following disclaimer:
- You must be a member of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program to earn and redeem Qantas Points. A joining fee usually applies, however complimentary membership is available from Bankwest if you join at qantas.com/joinffbankwest. Membership and the earning and redemption of points are subject to the terms and conditions of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program which can be found at qantas.com/terms. Qantas Points are earned on eligible purchases only and in accordance with and subject to the “Bankwest Qantas Rewards Program Terms and Conditions (PDF)“.
- Qantas Points can be used to redeem Classic Flight Rewards and Points Plus Pay-Flights seats. These are available on selected flights, availability is limited and booking conditions apply. Additional taxes, fees and carrier charges may apply. For more information visit qantas.com for details.*
- Bankwest is a division of the product issuer, Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL/Australian credit licence 234945. You should consider the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and whether the product is right for you. A PDS is available from your local Bankwest store, from bankwest.com.au, or by calling 13 17 19. Debit Mastercard is only available to Australian Citizens, Permanent or Temporary Residents over 16 years of age with an Australian residential address.
- Points paid per month will vary depending on your account balance and the number of days in the month. You will earn 0.4 Qantas Points each day for every $100 of your account balance.
- The overseas bank may charge a fee for using their ATM. Other fees and charges, including foreign transaction fees, may apply.
- People 18 years and over
- One Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account per customer
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